Inside the gas chambers: eight months in the Sonderkommando of Auschwitz

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Polity ;
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This is a unique, eye-witness account of everyday life right at the heart of the Nazi extermination machine.

Slomo Venezia was born into a poor Jewish-Italian community living in Thessaloniki, Greece. At first, the occupying Italians protected his family; but when the Germans invaded, the Venezias were deported to Auschwitz. His mother and sisters disappeared on arrival, and he learned, at first with disbelief, that they had almost certainly been gassed. Given the chance to earn a little extra bread, he agreed to become a ‘Sonderkommando', without realising what this entailed. He soon found himself a member of the ‘special unit' responsible for removing the corpses from the gas chambers and burning their bodies.

Dispassionately, he details the grim round of daily tasks, evokes the terror inspired by the man in charge of the crematoria, ‘Angel of Death' Otto Moll, and recounts the attempts made by some of the prisoners to escape, including the revolt of October 1944.

It is usual to imagine that none of those who went into the gas chambers at Auschwitz ever emerged to tell their tale - but, as a member of a ‘Sonderkommando', Shlomo Venezia was given this horrific privilege. He knew that, having witnessed the unspeakable, he in turn would probably be eliminated by the SS in case he ever told his tale. He survived: this is his story.

Published in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID ccaadb1a-c563-0816-3c6c-485aea506ef7
full_title inside the gas chambers eight months in the sonderkommando of auschwitz
author venezia shlomo
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2018-04-09 04:41:32AM

Solr Details

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auth_author2 Mouttapa, Jean., Prasquier, Béatrice.
author Venezia, Shlomo, 1923-
author2-role Mouttapa, Jean., Prasquier, Béatrice.
author_display Venezia, Shlomo
available_at_arlington Westover
collection_arlington Adult Nonfiction
detailed_location_arlington Westover Adult Nonfiction
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id ccaadb1a-c563-0816-3c6c-485aea506ef7
isbn 9780745643830
item_details ils:.b13035551|.i14044390|Westover Adult Nonfiction|940.5318 VENEZ|||1|false|false|||||On Shelf|Apr 07, 2018|wan||
itype_arlington Hardback
lexile_score -1
literary_form Non Fiction
literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_arlington 940.5318 VENEZ
owning_library_arlington Arlington Public Library, Aurora Hills, Central, Cherrydale, Columbia Pike, Connection Crystal City, Detention Center, Glencarlyn, Local History, Plaza, Shirlington, Westover
owning_location_arlington Westover
primary_isbn 9780745643830
publishDate 2009
record_details ils:.b13035551|Book|Books|English ed.|English|Polity ;|c2009.|xv, 202 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 22 cm.
recordtype grouped_work
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subject_facet Gas chambers -- Poland -- Oświęcim, Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Personal narratives, Jews -- Greece -- Thessalonikē -- Biography, Sonderkommandos -- Poland -- Oświęcim -- Biography
title_display Inside the gas chambers : eight months in the Sonderkommando of Auschwitz
title_full Inside the gas chambers : eight months in the Sonderkommando of Auschwitz / Shlomo Venezia ; in collaboration with Béatrice Prasquier ; foreword by Simone Veil ; historical notes and additional material by Marcello Pezzetti and Umberto Gentiloni ; edited by Jean Mouttapa ; translated by Andrew Brown
title_short Inside the gas chambers :
title_sub eight months in the Sonderkommando of Auschwitz